Crocodile: Evolution's Greatest Survivor (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Allen & Unwin, Dec 1, 2006 - Nature - 288 pages
3 Reviews
An ancient animal whose ancestors have roamed the earth since the time of the dinosaurs, the crocodile has survived continental drift, ice ages and the loss of once-prolific species. Today, the Australian saltie, the Chinese alligator, the Indian gharial and the black caiman are just some of the twenty-three species of crocodilian descendants found across the world.

Human interaction with these dangerous yet intriguing animals has been reflected in myths and legends dating back to earliest recorded history. Feared or revered, crocodilians have always fascinated. Sadly, many breeds of this seemingly indestructible species are now facing extinction because of human activity, intrusion into their habitats and retaliation for the threat they pose to humans.

This is the fascinating and extraordinary story of the crocodile, one of evolution's greatest survivors.

Lynne Kelly has been teaching science, mathematics and gifted education for over 30 years. She holds a degree in engineering, education and computing, and is the author of numerous books and online courses for education, a novel and a popular science title, The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JoshMock - LibraryThing

Crocodile: EGS seems to be more of a collection of facts and anecdotes than a cohesive book. I enjoyed learning all of these facts and anecdotes, however was put off a little by some sloppy editing ... Read full review

Crocodile: Evolution's Greatest Survivor

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Kelly, an Australian writer and science teacher, gives readers a thorough tour of crocodilian evolution in this lively biological biography. Kelly builds her scientific investigation on a solid ... Read full review

Contents

Encountering the crocodile
1
Around the world in life and legend
21
The crocodilian in form and function
67
Studying the crocodilian
93
In search of the ancient
111
Hunting the crocodile
143
Crocodile attacks
163
Farming crocodiles
189
Showing them off
207
Crocodiles in popular culture
227
List of species and their classification
237
Notes and sources
243
Bibliography
251
Index
261
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 127 - The only part of my professional course which really and deeply interested me was physiology, which is the mechanical engineering of living machines ; and, notwithstanding that natural science has been my proper business, I am afraid there is very little of the genuine naturalist in me.
Page 112 - ... and have been himself warned by the hoarse and deep bellowings of the alligator from the dangerous vicinity of its retreat. Our fossil evidences supply us with ample materials for this most strange picture of the animal life of ancient Britain, and what adds to the singularity and interest of the restored tableau vivant is the fact, that it could not now be produced in any part of the world.
Page 112 - Erewhile, emerging from the brooding sand. With tiger paw he prints the brineless strand ; High on the flood, with speckled bosom swims, Helm'd with broad tail, and oar'd with giant limbs ; Rolls his fierce eyeballs, clasps his iron claws, And champs with gnashing teeth his massy jaws. Old Nilus sighs through all his cane-crowned shores, And swarthy Memphis trembles and adores.
Page 128 - I cared for was the architectural and engineering part of the business, the working out the wonderful unity of plan in the thousands and thousands of diverse living constructions, and the modifications of similar apparatuses to serve diverse ends. The extraordinary attraction I felt towards the study of the intricacies of living structure nearly proved fatal to me at the outset. I was a mere boy —I think between thirteen and fourteen years of age—when I was taken by some older student friends...
Page 128 - I am afraid there is very little of the genuine naturalist in me. I never collected anything, and species work was always a burden to me ; what I cared for was the architectural and engineering part of the business, the working out of the wonderful unity of plan in the thousands and thousands of diverse living constructions, and the modifications of similar apparatuses to serve diverse ends.
Page 111 - So from his shell on Delta's showerless isle Bursts into life the monster of the Nile; First in translucent lymph with cobweb-threads The brain's fine floating tissue swells, and spreads; Nerve after nerve the glistening spine descends, The red heart dances, the aorta bends; Through each new gland the purple current glides, New veins meandering drink the refluent tides; Edge over edge expands the hardening scale, And sheaths his slimy skin in silver mail.
Page 113 - Africa, in the rivers of which continent true Crocodiles alone are found. Not one representative of the Crocodilian order naturally exists in any part of Europe ; yet every form of the order once flourished in close proximity to each other in a territory which now forms part of England.
Page 96 - The petals serve as bridal beds which the Great Creator has so gloriously arranged, adorned with such noble bed curtains and perfumed with so many sweet scents, that the bridegroom there may celebrate his nuptials with all the greater solemnity.

About the author (2006)

Lynne Kelly is the author of The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal, and has been teaching science, mathematics and computing for over 30 years. She holds degrees in engineering, education and computing.

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