Polar Bears

Polar Bears : A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior

4 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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The polar bear, king of the Arctic, is one of the world's most recognizable animals. Images of the majestic beasts roaming across the ice cap, plunging into frigid waters, and playing with furry cubs have come to symbolize the beauty and grandeur of the Arctic. Andrew E. Derocher and Wayne Lynch have spent decades following the bears, and this book offers the most comprehensive and readable review of their biology, ecology, behavior, and conservation. With gripping photographs by Lynch, a preeminent wildlife photographer, and the personal stories of Derocher, this book is as stunning to look at as it is fascinating to read. It weaves together their remarkable experiences with the latest research to tell the amazing story of these Arctic predators, tracing the animals back to their evolutionary roots and looking ahead to the future of polar bears on a warming planet Earth. Through informative and engaging language, Derocher carefully explains the sea ice ecosystem that is essential to the survival of polar bears.
He addresses the threat of global warming to the Arctic-home to polar bears for tens of thousands of years-and describes in impressive detail their feeding habits, distribution, den ecology, and reproduction. Lynch's vivid photographs capture all this and more as they chronicle the wide range of polar bear behavior, from family rituals to ferocious predatory practices. Captivating, accurate, and inspiring, "Polar Bears" belongs in the hands of all who love the wild.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 229 x 279 x 21mm | 1,270g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • 4 Maps; 153 Illustrations, color
  • 1421403056
  • 9781421403052
  • 485,229

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. A Polar Bear Described
3. Evolution
4. Early Polar Bear-Human Interactions
5. Arctic Marine Ecosystems
6. Sea Ice and Habitat
7. Prey
8. Distribution and Populations
9. Hunting Methods
10. Polar Bear Behavior
11. Den Ecology
12. From Birth to Death
13. Threats
14. Looking Forward
Appendix A: Scientific Names of Plants and Animals
Appendix B: Species of Plants and Animals Eaten by Polar Bears
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Review quote

Captivating, accurate, and inspiring, Polar Bears belongs in the hands of all who love the wild. Guardian Derocher and Lynch's handiwork, however, is less a lament and more a celebration of polar bears. And that will almost certainly make it a winner with increasingly fussy readers looking to be awed, inspired, and informed by artfully illustrated books. -- Ed Struzik Edmonton Journal Everyone with an interest in polar bears or bears of any species will want to add this book to their bookshelf. -- Sterling Miller International Bear News This book is as amazing to look at as it is fascinating to read... Captivating, precise, inspiring, Polar Bears is intended for all those who love nature. PhotoNews This magnificent species has got the book it deserves. -- Jeff Wilson BBC Wildlife Magazine A book which would grace any coffee table, but equally one which should be in the library of every zoo and scientific institution which has an interest in polar bears, Arctic biodiversity or the possible effects of global warming. For every curator, animal manager, veterinarian and zoo architect it should be mandatory reading... Global warming, with or without mankind's help, may cause the polar bear to become extinct and this book may be the best record we have to remember it by. -- Richard Perron International Zoo News A welcome and timely contribution... a reliable and comprehensive source of information. -- Kristin Laidre ARCTIC For a read on polar bears, this book has it all. There is not a stone unturned throughout these pages, which look at every aspect of the species in thorough detail, including their evolution, arctic marine ecosystems and hunting methods... Proving that polar bears are everything you thought they were and more-you won't want to miss out on this read. Pet Focus Derocher lays our for us a comprehensive review of work done on these great mammals including their biology, ecology, and behavior. The text is supplemented by stunning photographs by Wayne Lynch who has spent decades following the bears. It all works excellently together-photos and text-and the reader comes away with a renewed appreciation for one of nature's most charismatic carnivores. National Outdoor Book Awards University of Alberta biology professor Andrew E. Derocher and award-winning science writer/wildlife photographer Wayne Lynch set out to produce the most comprehensive book about polar bears to date. They succeeded, with Derocher packaging more than 20 years of scientific study and the experience from more than 40 field expeditions into a reader-friendly, text-based guide complemented by Lynch's stunning Arctic images. -- Michelle LePage Canadian Geographic Derocher, a bear biologist, and Lynch, a physician turned wildlife photographer, have put together an accessible book that takes full advantage of Derocher's research experience and Lynch's eye for capturing wildlife on film. Choice When I first started reading the book I wondered who the audience would be. Would the general public, including school children and polar bear enthusiasts, be interested in the level of detail of this book? Us scientists who study polar bears already know all about the bear (of course!)-would we read this book? The answers to those two questions are yes and yes... I believe that this book will satiate any polar bear enthusiast's curiosity about the species and the environment in which it lives. At the same time, it also is a useful resource to those of us who study polar bears and their prey in the Arctic. -- Karyn D. Rode Marine Mammal Science This is a beautiful book, a fascinating subject, and a turning point in our human evolution and relationship with the natural world. Get the book, then go out and do something. -- William L. Gannon Journal of Mammalogy Captivating, accurate, and inspiring, Polar Bears belongs in the hands of all who love the wild. Northeastern Naturalist Derocher has certainly written one of the most authoritative and technically comprehensive yet engaging books on polar bears that will be available for many years. The technical detail and background information is such that parts of the book have a textbook quality... If I were to pick one book that would give a general audience a solid understanding of polar bear ecology, it would be Derocher's Polar Bears: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior. -- Dag Vongraven Polar Research
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About Andrew E. Derocher

Andrew E. Derocher, a leading polar bear researcher, is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and author of numerous articles on large Arctic mammals. Wayne Lynch is a freelance science writer and wildlife photographer and a fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club. Among his many publications is Owls of the United States and Canada: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior, also published by Johns Hopkins.
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Rating details

11 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 45% (5)
4 27% (3)
3 18% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 9% (1)
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