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Olfactory Perception from Neurobiology to Behavior
Written by a neurobiologist and a psychologist, this volume presents a new theory of olfactory perception. Drawing on research in neuroscience, physiology, and ethology, Donald A. Wilson and Richard J. Stevenson address the fundamental question of how we navigate through a world of chemical encounters and provide a compelling alternative to the "reception-centric" view of olfaction. The major research challenge in olfaction is determining how the brain discriminates one smell from another. Here, the authors hold that olfaction is generally not a simple physiochemical process, but rather a plastic process that is strongly tied to memory. They find the traditional approach—which involves identifying how particular features of a chemical stimulus are represented in the olfactory system—to be at odds with historical data and with a growing body of neurobiological and psychological evidence that places primary emphasis on synthetic processing and experiential factors. Wilson and Stevenson propose that experience and cortical plasticity not only are important for traditional associative olfactory memory but also play a critical, defining role in odor perception and that current views are insufficient to account for current and past data. The book includes a broad comparative overview of the structure and function of olfactory systems, an exploration into the mechanisms of odor detection and olfactory perception, and a discussion of the implications of the authors' theory. Learning to Smell will serve as an important reference for workers within the field of chemical senses and those interested in sensory processing and perception.
Revealing the Unseen Lives of Plants and Animals
Have you ever wondered what left behind those prints and tracks on the seashore, or what made those marks or dug those holes in the dunes? Life Traces of the Georgia Coast is an up-close look at these traces of life and the animals and plants that made them. It tells about the how the tracemakers lived and how they interacted with their environments. This is a book about ichnology (the study of such traces), a wonderful way to learn about the behavior of organisms, living and long extinct. Life Traces presents an overview of the traces left by modern animals and plants in this biologically rich region; shows how life traces relate to the environments, natural history, and behaviors of their tracemakers; and applies that knowledge toward a better understanding of the fossilized traces that ancient life left in the geologic record. Augmented by numerous illustrations of traces made by both ancient and modern organisms, the book shows how ancient trace fossils directly relate to modern traces and tracemakers, among them, insects, grasses, crabs, shorebirds, alligators, and sea turtles. The result is an aesthetically appealing and scientifically accurate book that will serve as both a source book for scientists and for anyone interested in the natural history of the Georgia coast.
The Hawaiian Palm
The only native palms in Hawai‘i, loulu are among the Islands’ most distinctive plants. Several of the 24 recognized species are rare and endangered and all make handsome and appropriate ornamentals to adorn gardens and landscapes with their dramatic foliage, colorful flower clusters, and conspicuous fruits. In this volume, Donald Hodel shares his expertise on loulu, having traveled extensively throughout Hawai‘i to research and photograph nearly all the species in their native habitat. In the course of his work, he described and named three loulu that were new to science.
Each of the 24 species is treated in detail and this book is handsomely illustrated with more than 200 color photographs that clearly show leaves, flower stalks, fruits, and habitat. Chapters on loulu history, botany, ecology, conservation, uses, and propagation and culture provide essential background information for readers, whatever their level of interest or expertise. In the appendices, they will find a concise summary of loulu, lists of species by island, and an illustrated compendium of exotic, naturalized palms of Hawai‘i and relatives of loulu found throughout the South Pacific.
As interest in growing and conserving native Hawaiian plants surges while their numbers and habitat continue to decline, Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm will be valued as one of the most comprehensive and thoroughly illustrated treatments of these exceptional plants.
255 color illus., 37 maps
An elucidating collection of ten original essays, Making Animal Meaning reconceptualizes methods for researching animal histories and rethinks the contingency of the human-animal relationship. The vibrant and diverse field of animal studies is detailed in these interdisciplinary discussions, which include voices from a broad range of scholars and have an extensive chronological and geographical reach. These exciting discourses capture the most compelling theoretical underpinnings of animal significance while exploring meaning-making through the study of specific spaces, species, and human-animal relations. A deeply thoughtful collection — vital to understanding central questions of agency, kinship, and animal consumption — these essays tackle the history and philosophy of constructing animal meaning.
Origin, Evolution, and Diversity
In this unique book, Peter S. Ungar tells the story of mammalian teeth from their origin through their evolution to their current diversity. Mammal Teeth traces the evolutionary history of teeth, beginning with the very first mineralized vertebrate structures half a billion years ago. Ungar describes how the simple conical tooth of early vertebrates became the molars, incisors, and other forms we see in mammals today. Evolutionary adaptations changed pointy teeth into flatter ones, with specialized shapes designed to complement the corresponding jaw. Ungar explains tooth structure and function in the context of nutritional needs. The myriad tooth shapes produced by evolution offer different solutions to the fundamental problem of how to squeeze as many nutrients as possible out of foods. The book also highlights Ungar's own path-breaking studies that show how microwear analysis can help us understand ancient diets. The final part of the book provides an in-depth examination of mammalian teeth today, surveying all orders in the class, family by family. Ungar describes some of the more bizarre teeth, such as tusks, and the mammal diversity that accompanies these morphological wonders. Mammal Teeth captures the evolution of mammals, including humans, through the prism of dental change. Synthesizing decades of research, Ungar reveals the interconnections among mammal diet, dentition, and evolution. His book is a must-read for paleontologists, mammalogists, and anthropologists.
This volume comprises original research papers reporting findings collected by participants of the International Workshop on the Mangrove Ecosystem of Deep Bay and the Mai Po Marshes.
A Manual of Aquatic Plants can be said to be a classic; it made the identification of aquatic plants in sterile as well as in flowering or fruiting condition as simple as possible, and covers a region from Minnesota to Missouri and eastward to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Virgina.
This collection originates from the Eighth International Workshop on the subject held in Hong Kong in April 1995. The 31 papers deal with aspects of the taxonomy and ecology of Hong Kong's marine life with particular reference to the Cape d'Aguilar Marine Reserve and the benthic fauna of its territorial waters.
The Practice and Promise of Biomedical Engineering
A heart that once beat erratically has regained its natural rhythm. A woman paralyzed by an automobile accident is now able to resume her favorite hobby. Physicians using a robotic surgeon named da Vinci perform lifesaving operations. These are some of the feats of biomedical engineering, one of the fastest-moving areas in medicine. In this exhilarating book, award-winning writer Fen Montaigne journeys through this little-known world, sharing the stories of ordinary people who have been transformed by technology. From the almost commonplace pacemaker to the latest generation of artificial hearts, Montaigne tells the stories of pioneering patients, engineers, and surgeons. Taking the reader behind the scenes of a dozen of America's leading centers of biomedical engineering, Montaigne recounts the field's history while describing cutting-edge work in medical imaging, orthopedics, cardiovascular care, neurological therapies, and genetics. Through the stories of patients whose lives have been saved and improved by biomedical devices, Montaigne reveals the marriage of medicine and engineering to be one of society's greatest advances.
Ecotourism with a Hand Lens
In the humid forests of Cape Horn, a single tree can host more than 100 species of little epiphyte plants. The floor of the forest and the rocks are also covered by numerous species of liverworts, mosses, and lichens. The decision to stop at a tree or rock and explore these “miniature forests” generates an authentic ecotourism experience. In a small area we can spend several minutes or hours with a magnifying glass or camera discovering the colors, shapes, and textures of the most diverse organisms of Cape Horn. This guidebook enhances exploration by providing information to understand the architecture, life cycles, and identification of taxonomic groups of the organisms that form them. For example, when viewing a yellow orange organism, the full color pictures and text in the guidebook illustrate that what you are viewing on the inter-tidal rocks is a crustose lichen, with a well-defined circular structure belonging to the genus Caloplaca that enjoys a broad distribution in inter-tidal zones of Arctic and Antarctic areas. The authors of this guidebook also provide a novel twist on other, more traditional field guides to bryophytes and lichens by introducing the innovative, sustainable tourism activity of “ecotourism with a hand lens.” They present a strong natural history narrative and an ecological and ethical orientation for the appreciation of wonders of the miniature forests of Cape Horn.