Auckland Council Libraries: Natural history new titles

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Natural history

How the rose got its thorns  by Andrew Ormerod

How the rose got its thorns

Andrew Ormerod

"Have you ever wondered why the rose has thorns and other flowers don't, why the daffodil is the colour it is, or why some plants have shiny leaves and others dull or spiny, or even furry? Accompanied by beautiful colour illustrations, How the Rose Got Its...

Birds aren't real  by Peter McIndoe

Birds aren't real

Peter McIndoe

"Have you ever seen a baby pigeon? You haven't, have you? No one has, not in many, many years. They used to be everywhere. That's because they come out of the factory as adults. In the 1970s, the United States government killed off the entire bird population...

Incredible lizards  by Steve (Stephen K.) Wilson

Incredible lizards

Steve (Stephen K.) Wilson

"This book is a celebration of lizard-hood. It salutes a diversity of form and function unparalleled among terrestrial vertebrates, from apex predators capable of swallowing goats to limbless subterranean insectivores. In equal measure they thrive in a...

The science of garden biodiversity  by Julian Doberski

The science of garden biodiversity

Julian Doberski

"You step out of the back door into the garden. There may be a few birds flitting around, perhaps butterflies or bumblebees on the wing, but often the garden can seem very still. However, if you look beyond the superficial inactivity there is an ecological web...

The last rhinos  by Lawrence Anthony

The last rhinos

Lawrence Anthony

"Another extraordinary story of life on a South African game reserve from the authors of The Elephant Whisperer. Lawrence Anthony's South African game reserve is home to many animals he has saved, from a remarkable herd of elephants to a badly behaved bushbaby...

The return of the Grey Partridge  by Roger Morgan-Grenville

The return of the Grey Partridge

Roger Morgan-Grenville

"The heartening story of the return of nature to the Arundel Estate. The Return of the Grey Partridge tells the extraordinary story of how wildlife is restored to the Arundel Estate in West Sussex. Prompted by the collapse in numbers of one species, the grey...

Wisdom from The hidden life of trees  by Peter Wohlleben

Wisdom from The hidden life of trees

Peter Wohlleben

"This gorgeous compendium distills the essence of the beloved bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees, and is the perfect pocket-sized gift for holding forester Peter Wohlleben's words dear, and sharing them with your loved ones. Discover the operations of the...

Cronin's key guide to Australian wildlife  by Leonard Cronin

Cronin's key guide to Australian wildlife

Leonard Cronin

"Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful introduction to identifying Australian plants and animals. An indispensable guide to Australian wildlife with plants and animals from the coral reefs to the rainforests, eucalypt woodlands and deserts. Over 600...

Cronin's key guide to Australian reptiles & frogs  by Leonard Cronin

Cronin's key guide to Australian reptiles & frogs

Leonard Cronin

"An indispensable guide to Australia's fascinating reptiles and frogs, packed with information about their behaviour, development, food and habitat. Each entry fully describes the species and its way of life. Colourfully illustrated throughout with detailed...

Ferdinand Bauer's remarkable birds  by Jonathan Elphick

Ferdinand Bauer's remarkable birds

Jonathan Elphick

"In 1786, the renowned Austrian natural history artist Ferdinand Bauer travelled to Italy and the Levant with his employer John Sibthorp, Oxford Professor of Botany. The exquisite watercolours he subsequently created from meticulous drawings made during the...

Kingdom of play  by David Toomey

Kingdom of play

David Toomey

"For readers of Inside of a Dog and The Soul of an Octopus, a fascinating, charming, and revelatory look at the science behind why animals play that shows how life-at its most fundamental level-is playful. In Kingdom of Play, critically acclaimed science...

Sing like fish  by Amorina Kingdon

Sing like fish

Amorina Kingdon

"For centuries, humans ignored sound in the "silent world" of the ocean, assuming that what we couldn't perceive, didn't exist. But we couldn't have been more wrong. Marine scientists now have the technology to record and study the complex interplay of the...

Feathered marvels  by Dominic F. Sherony

Feathered marvels

Dominic F. Sherony

"From the discovery of the fossil Archaeopteryx to more than 10,000 different documented species today, birds have become the second most diversified class of vertebrates on Earth. Birds have changed and evolved extensively since they first emerged in...

Bird day  by Mark E. Hauber

Bird day

Mark E. Hauber

"From morning to night and from the Antarctic to the equator, birds have busy days. In this short book, ornithologist Mark E. Hauber shows readers exactly how birds spend their time. Each of the book's twenty-four brief chapters covers a single bird and a...

Evolution's bite  by Peter S. Ungar

Evolution's bite

Peter S. Ungar

"Whether we realize it or not, we carry in our mouths the legacy of our evolution. Our teeth are like living fossils that can be studied and compared to those of our ancestors to teach us how we became human. In Evolution's Bite, noted paleoanthropologist...

In hot water  by Paul E. Hardisty

In hot water

Paul E. Hardisty

"In the ongoing climate wars, the Great Barrier Reef has become a symbol of everything that we have to lose from global warming. For years, reports of the world-famous coral being irreversibly bleached have fuelled an ideological battle between those fighting...

Discovering the microscopic world  by Marianne Taylor

Discovering the microscopic world

Marianne Taylor

"Explore a teeming world only visible under a powerful microscope and the crucial role it plays in life on earth. With ever advancing technical developments, including scanning electron and probe microscopy, the miniature world has now been revealed to us in...

Purposeful birdwatching  by Rob Hume

Purposeful birdwatching

Rob Hume

"With its mix of memoir, gentle advice and enthusiastic advocacy, this book sets out a case for purposeful birdwatching. Along the way, it explains how to make your birding more enjoyable, fulfilling and worthwhile. Using ideas and techniques from his five...

Nature's calendar  by Kiera Chapman

Nature's calendar

Kiera Chapman

"A fresh take on the traditional almanac, here is a companion to the British seasons - all 72 of them. Inspired by a traditional Japanese calendar which divides the year into segments of four to five days, this book guides you through a year of 72 seasons as...

Otter country  by Miriam Darlington

Otter country

Miriam Darlington

"Mysterious, graceful, and ever-clever, otters have captivated our imaginations despite the fact that few people have encountered one in the wild. In Otter Country, celebrated nature writer Miriam Darlington captures the fascination she's had for these playful...

The light eaters  by Zoë Schlanger

The light eaters

Zoë Schlanger

"Look at the green organism across the room or through the window: the potted plant, or the grass, or a tree. Think how a life spent constantly growing yet rooted in a single spot comes with tremendous challenges. To meet them, plants have come up with some of...

The last of its kind  by 1949- author. Gísli Pálsson

The last of its kind

1949- author. Gísli Pálsson

"The great auk is one of the most tragic and documented examples of extinction. A flightless bird that bred primarily on the remote islands of the North Atlantic, the last of its kind were killed in Iceland in 1844. Gísli Pálsson draws on firsthand accounts...

The age of deer  by Erika Howsare

The age of deer

Erika Howsare

"Delving into the historical roots of our tangled attitudes toward deer and how they play out in the present, Erika Howsare observes scientists capture and collar fawns, hunters show off their trophies, a museum interpreter teaching American history while...

The lives of spiders  by Ximena Nelson

The lives of spiders

Ximena Nelson

"A beautifully illustrated guide to the natural history and breathtaking diversity of spiders around the world"--Publisher's description.

The lives of lichens  by Robert Lücking

The lives of lichens

Robert Lücking

"A richly illustrated guide to lichens and their biology. Existing at the margins of life, lichens are the result of symbiotic relationships between fungi and photosynthesising partners in the form of algae or cyanobacteria. Comprising more than twenty...

The lives of bees  by Christina Grozinger

The lives of bees

Christina Grozinger

"A beautifully illustrated guide to the vibrant and richly diverse world of bees. The Lives of Bees provides a one-of-a-kind look at the life and natural history of bees. Blending stunning photographs and illustrations with illuminating profiles of selected...

Australian falcons  by Peter Slater

Australian falcons

Peter Slater

"More than 50 years in the making, Australian Falcons is a beautifully illustrated volume of personal observations, interesting encounters with raptors, and detailed descriptions of behaviour that will inform and delight the reader"--Publisher's description.

The hidden life of garden birds  by Dominic Couzens

The hidden life of garden birds

Dominic Couzens

"A glimpse into the secret lives of over 50 garden birds, with beautiful illustrations and intriguing facts. id you know that woodpeckers are capable of learning simple codes? Hooded crows can form connections with humans? A jay's call affects the behaviour of...

Elemental  by Stephen Porder


Stephen Porder

"Over the past four billion years of Earth's history, three organisms-cyanobacteria, plants, and humans--have altered the planet in profound ways by harnessing the availability of five key elements. Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the...

Why animals talk  by Arik Kershenbaum

Why animals talk

Arik Kershenbaum

"From leading zoologist Arik Kershenbaum, a delightful and groundbreaking exploration of animal communication and its true meaning. Animal communication has forever seemed intelligible. We are surrounded by animals and the cacophony of sounds that they...

Be a birder  by author Ranger Hamza

Be a birder

author Ranger Hamza

"Discover the wonderful world of birdwatching with wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin - winner of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing2022 and presenter of BBC documentary Hamza: Strictly Birds of Prey. 'Birds have been with me my entire life - from the colourful...

500 insects  by S. A. (Stephen A.) Marshall

500 insects

S. A. (Stephen A.) Marshall

"This colorful guide features 500 insects from all major orders, in a variety of climates and habitats. Professor Stephen Marshall has selected some of his most interesting photographs taken in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand...

In the name of sharks  by François Sarano

In the name of sharks

François Sarano

"Twenty metres below water, the oceanographer Franðcois Sarano came face to face with a five-and-a-half metre great white shark. Seduced by the gentle elegance of this majestic creature, Sarano experienced a profound sense of affinity with her as they swam...

Shark  by Mike Coots


Mike Coots

"A global shift from fright to endearment is happening and the world is falling in love with sharks as risk of their endangerment increases. Coots, who was nearly killed by a tiger shark as a teenager and has since dedicated his life to capturing and sharing...

Born of ice and fire  by Graham Shields

Born of ice and fire

Graham Shields

"An exploration of how the Cryogenian Period, when our planet was covered in ice for millions of years, created today's remarkable biodiversity. More than half a billion years ago, our world was completely covered by glaciers, a "Snowball Earth" that persisted...

The sexual life of flowers  by Simon Klein

The sexual life of flowers

Simon Klein

"We are surrounded by extraordinary partnerships between plants and the birds, bees and other insects that pollinate them. In The Sexual Life of Flowers, botanist Simon Klein leads a beguiling and fascinating tour of the courtship between fifty flowers and the...

Wildlife anatomy  by Julia Rothman

Wildlife anatomy

Julia Rothman

"In Wildlife Anatomy, the latest entry in Julia Rothman's series of Anatomy books, Rothman captures the excitement and distinctive attributes of wild animals around the world. The book is packed with hundreds of her charming, original illustrations, detailing...

Disputed inheritance  by Gregory Radick

Disputed inheritance

Gregory Radick

"In 1900, almost no one had heard of Gregor Mendel. Ten years later, he was famous as the father of a new science of heredity-genetics. Even today, Mendelian ideas serve as a standard point of entry for learning about genes. The message students receive is...

Biology  by Eva Amsen


Eva Amsen

"Get to grips with the essential topics in biology today through 100 key ideas, each one explained clearly in 100 words. Biology- 100 Ideas in 100 Words offers the essential facts at your fingertips, satisfying your scientific curiosity and helping you to...

Foraging New Zealand  by Peter Langlands

Foraging New Zealand

Peter Langlands

"An essential guide to foraging in New Zealand. New Zealand is full of incredible, edible wild foods - fruit, fungi and seaweed; berries, herbs and more - you only need to know where to look and how to do it safely. Foraging New Zealand is the ultimate guide...

Human origins  by Sarah Wild

Human origins

Sarah Wild

"Humans are the dominant species on the planet. But how did we get here? Human Origins takes the reader on a fascinating 7-million-year journey from our earliest primordial ape-like roots through to the present day. For almost a hundred years, scientists have...

Wildwoods  by Richard Nairn


Richard Nairn

"Ecologist Richard Nairn has spent a lifetime studying – and learning from – nature. When an opportunity arose for him to buy a small woodland filled with mature native trees beside a fast-flowing river, he set about understanding all its moods and seasons,...

The internet of animals  by Martin Wikelski

The internet of animals

Martin Wikelski

"All we need to do is give animals a voice and our perception of the world could change forever. That's what author Martin Wikelski and his team of scientists believe, and this book shares their story for the first time. As they tag animals around the world...

Lizards of the world  by Mark O'Shea

Lizards of the world

Mark O'Shea

"A lavishly illustrated overview of the world's lizards As survivors from the time of the dinosaurs, lizards are scaly and cold-blooded-relics from a prehistoric world that remain alive and well today. Lizards exert a morbid fascination, and in many...

Crossings  by Ben (Environmental journalist) Goldfarb


Ben (Environmental journalist) Gold...

"An eye-opening and witty account of the global ecological transformations wrought by roads, from an award-winning author. Some 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, but we tend to regard them only as infrastructure for human convenience. In...



"The Library, Art and Archives at Kew is one of the most extensive botanical libraries in the world, with the oldest item dating back to the 1370s. In this new pocketbook series from Kew, each book presents 40 botanical paintings from the collection,...

A photographic guide to moths & butterflies of New Zealand  by Robert J. B. Hoare

A photographic guide to moths & butterflies of New Zealand

Robert J. B. Hoare

"Colour photographs illustrating more than 150 species"-- Back cover.

New Zealand falcon  by Dave (Bird watcher) Bell

New Zealand falcon

Dave (Bird watcher) Bell

"The New Zealand falcon, our only remaining endemic raptor. A guide to how they behave and have adapted, collated from experience gained, information given by respondents to a survey, and knowledge provided by others."--



"Throughout history, trees have always been important and beloved by humans; from practical to spiritual. Centres of biodiversity and essential in climate equilibrium, we simply couldn't survive without them. This Kew Pocketbook is a snapshot of the vast...

Festive flora

Festive flora

"A celebration of the myriad roles plants play in religious, cultural, and national festivities across the globe. Whether they're used as visual decoration in wreaths, garlands, and religious shrines, or deployed for their rich scents and flavors in festive...

Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices

"This stunning series of pocketbooks from Kew offers a snapshot into the diverse and beautiful world of plants and fungi. Each book lavishly showcases choice examples from different groups or collections. Hot, spicy, aromatic, zingy, floral, earthy and...



"Neither plants nor animals, and only showing themselves to us in nature through bodies that produce spores, fungi are weird and wonderful. These extraordinary life-forms are celebrated in this new Kew Pocketbook, with 40 paintings of mushrooms, toadstools,...

Hard by the cloud house  by Peter (Journalist) Walker

Hard by the cloud house

Peter (Journalist) Walker

"The legend of Te Hokioi, the extinct giant eagle of New Zealand, leads Peter Walker from a Canterbury sheep run to the Rare Books Room of the British Library and to 'sacred' Raiatea in Polynesia, as he uncovers the story of the predator which once ruled over...

Six-legged ghosts  by Lily Duval

Six-legged ghosts

Lily Duval

"Why isn't Aotearoa famous for its insects? We have weta that can survive being frozen, weevils with 'snouts' almost as long as their bodies, and the world's only alpine cicadas. There is mounting evidence that insect numbers are plummeting all over the world....

Hunt for the shadow wolf  by Derek Gow

Hunt for the shadow wolf

Derek Gow

"Renowned rewilder Derek Gow has a dream: that one day we will see the return of the wolf to Britain as it has already returned elsewhere. As Derek worked to reintroduce the beaver, he began to hear stories of the wolf, both real and mythical, and his...

A photographic guide to mushrooms and other fungi of New Zealand  by G. S. Ridley

A photographic guide to mushrooms and other fungi of New Zealand

G. S. Ridley

"A Photographic Guide to Mushrooms & Other Fungi of New Zealand introduces readers to New Zealand’s mushrooms and fungi, which number up to some 19,000 species and include extraordinarily diverse types, from the familiar ‘mushroom’ to brackets, coral and cup...

Shells of the world  by M. G. Harasewych

Shells of the world

M. G. Harasewych

"A marvelously illustrated natural history of the world’s mollusks. Mollusks are invertebrate animals with a remarkable natural history and a rich fossil record, and their shells are prized for their breathtaking variety and exquisite beauty. Shells of the...

The lives of butterflies  by David G. (David Geoffrey) James

The lives of butterflies

David G. (David Geoffrey) James

"There are more than fifteen thousand butterfly species in the world, fluttering through a wide variety of habitats. Bright and beautiful, butterflies also have fascinating life histories and play an important role in our planet's ecosystems. The Lives of...

Frogs of the world : a guide to every family  by Mark O'Shea

Frogs of the world : a guide to every family

Mark O'Shea

"With more than 7,600 known species, frogs exhibit an extraordinary range of forms and behaviors, from those that produce toxins so deadly that they could kill a human many times over to those that can survive being frozen in ice. Frogs of the World is an...

Wasps of the world  by Simon Van Noort

Wasps of the world

Simon Van Noort

"A richly illustrated guide to wasps around the world. Wasps have been around since before the dinosaurs and are one of the world’s largest insect groups. More than 150,000 species have been identified, and while the black-and-yellow insect with a cinched...

Of time and turtles  by Sy Montgomery

Of time and turtles

Sy Montgomery

"When acclaimed naturalist Sy Montgomery and wildlife artist Matt Patterson arrive at Turtle Rescue League, they are greeted by hundreds of turtles recovering from injury and illness. Endangered by cars and highways, pollution and poachers, these turtles--with...

The ancestor's tale  by Richard Dawkins

The ancestor's tale

Richard Dawkins

"A fully updated edition of one of the most original accounts of evolution ever written, featuring new fractal diagrams, six new 'tales' and the latest scientific developments.THE ANCESTOR'S TALE is a dazzling, four-billion-year pilgrimage to the origins of...

Plankton  by Tom Jackson


Tom Jackson

"Plankton are the unsung heroes of planet Earth. Passive drifters through the world's seas, oceans, and freshwater environments, most are invisible or very small, but some are longer than a whale. They are the global ocean's foundation food, supporting almost...

Chris Packham's birdwatching guide  by Chris Packham

Chris Packham's birdwatching guide

Chris Packham

"Chris is a lifelong birdwatcher and the perfect guide on a day out bird spotting. Through a series of chapters, he can build you from an absolute beginner exploring your own backyard, giving you tips and insights that he has gained from years of birdwatching....

Genetics  by René Fester Kratz


René Fester Kratz

"Evolve your knowledge of the fast-moving world of genetic research. Genetics For Dummies shines a light on the fascinating field of genetics, helping you gain a greater understanding of how genetics factors into everyday life. Perfect as a supplement to a...

Piping hot bees and boisterous buzz-runners  by Thomas D. Seeley

Piping hot bees and boisterous buzz-runners

Thomas D. Seeley

"Thomas Seeley has spent his career unraveling the mysteries of honey bee behavior. His goal has been to understand how the 30,000 or so bees in a colony work together as a unit to accomplish such things as finding and occupying a snug nest cavity, furnishing...

Metamorphosis  by Erica McAlister


Erica McAlister

"Insects are incredibly weird. Their morphology is about as alien to us as you can get without leaving this planet. They outnumber us 200 million to one. Before humans stamped their mark on this planet, insects had shaped it into the colourful and...

Madagascar wildlife  by Nick (Zoologist) Garbutt

Madagascar wildlife

Nick (Zoologist) Garbutt

"This new, fifth edition of Bradt's Madagascar Wildlife, first published over 25 years ago, celebrates the unique fauna of this remarkable Indian Ocean island. Written by naturalist tour-leaders and Madagascar experts, and aimed at visitors and natural-history...

A year of garden bees and bugs  by Dominic Couzens

A year of garden bees and bugs

Dominic Couzens

"A fascinating journey into the secret life of insects, with QR codes linked to videos that bring every creature to life. Just as birds have yearly rhythms, so do bees, beetles, butterflies and other insects. Wildlife experts Dominic Couzens and Gail Ashton...

Humpback highway  by Vanessa Pirotta

Humpback highway

Vanessa Pirotta

"Acclaimed wildlife scientist Vanessa Pirotta has been mugged by whales, touched by a baby whale and covered in whale snot. In Humpback Highway, Pirotta dives beneath the surface to reveal the mysterious world of humpback whales - from their life cycle and the...

A photographic guide to wildflowers of New Zealand  by Geoff Brunsden

A photographic guide to wildflowers of New Zealand

Geoff Brunsden

"Wildflower experts Geoff and Liz Brunsden introduced wildflower landscaping to New Zealand. They are known particularly for their work with wildflower planting alongside the contry's highways." --Back cover.

A housefly buzzes in the key of F  by Simon Nicholls

A housefly buzzes in the key of F

Simon Nicholls

"Did You Know That... A housefly buzzes in the key of F? A cockroach can live for a week without its head, before dying of starvation? Slugs have four noses? So, if you thought that couldn't get slimier, now imagine them with a cold ... The fingerprints of a...

The curious world of seahorses  by Till Hein

The curious world of seahorses

Till Hein

"In this entertaining and informative book, science writer Till Hein shares the most tantalizing findings from the world of seahorses, opening up some of the secrets of these magical creatures of the sea. He reveals their intriguing biological features, such...

The evolution of power  by Geerat J. Vermeij

The evolution of power

Geerat J. Vermeij

"A sweeping new account of the role of power in the evolution of all life on Earth. Power has many dimensions, from individual attributes such as strength and speed to the collective advantages of groups. The Evolution of Power takes readers on a breathtaking...

The end of Eden  by Adam Welz

The end of Eden

Adam Welz

"The stories we tell ourselves about climate change tend to focus on the damage inflicted on human societies by big storms, severe droughts, and rising sea levels. Walz provides a revelatory exploration of climate change from the perspective of wild species...

Walking with trees  by Glennie Kindred

Walking with trees

Glennie Kindred

"Walking with trees takes us on an intimate journey with 13 native trees of Britain and Europe. Glennie leads us into their world, describes their unique characteristics, natural history, healing properties, mythologies and crafts, and opens us to their subtle...

Tree spirits grass spirits  by Hiromi Itō

Tree spirits grass spirits

Hiromi Itō

"A collected series of intertwined poetic essays written by acclaimed Japanese poet Hiromi Ito--part nature writing, part travelogue, part existential philosophy. Written between April 2012 and November 2013, Tree Spirits Grass Spirits adopts a non-linear...

The ethnobotanical  by Sarah Edwards

The ethnobotanical

Sarah Edwards

"Since the beginning of humanity's existence, plants have provided us with everything we need for our survival - they sustain us with air to breathe, food to eat, materials to make clothes and shelter with, and medicine to treat and prevent disease. Their...

The little book of aliens  by Adam Frank

The little book of aliens

Adam Frank

"Everyone is curious about life in the Universe, UFOs and whether ET is out there. Over the course of his thirty-year career as an astrophysicist, Adam Frank has consistently been asked about the possibility of intelligent life in the universe. Are aliens...

Squirrel nation  by Peter A. Coates

Squirrel nation

Peter A. Coates

"A wide-ranging meditation on belonging and citizenship through the story of two squirrel species in Britain. Squirrel Nation is a history of Britain's two species of squirrel over the past two hundred years: the much-loved, though rare, red squirrel and the...

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