Dreaming in Turtle : A Journey Through the Passion, Profit, and Peril of Our Most Coveted Prehistoric Creatures
by Peter Laufer


Overview -

A fascinating exploration into the world of turtles across the globe; Laufer charts the lore, love, and peril to a beloved species.

Dreaming in Turtle is a compelling story of a stalwart animal prized from prehistory through to today--an animal threatened by human greed, pragmatism, and rationalization.  Read more...


 
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More About Dreaming in Turtle by Peter Laufer
 
 
 
Overview

A fascinating exploration into the world of turtles across the globe; Laufer charts the lore, love, and peril to a beloved species.

Dreaming in Turtle is a compelling story of a stalwart animal prized from prehistory through to today--an animal threatened by human greed, pragmatism, and rationalization. It stars turtles and shady and heroic human characters both, in settings ranging from luxury redoubts to degraded habitats, during a time when the confluence of easy global trade, limited supply, and inexhaustible demand has accelerated the stress on species. The growth of the middle class in high-population regions like China, where the turtle is particularly valued, feeds this perfect storm into which the turtle finds itself lashed. This is a tale not just of endangered turtles but also one of overall human failings, frailties, and vulnerabilities--all punctuated by optimistic hope for change fueled by dedicated turtle champions.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250128096
  • ISBN-10: 1250128099
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publish Date: November 2018
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Nature > Animals - Reptiles & Amphibians
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Marine Biology
Books > Travel > Special Interest - Pets

 
BookPage Reviews

Dreaming in Turtle

BookPage Top Pick in Nonfiction, December 2018

Most people only know a few basic facts about turtles: They are slow-moving, egg-laying, cold-blooded reptiles. Yet as journalist Peter Laufer (The Dangerous World of Butterflies) notes in his new book, Dreaming in Turtle, “everybody has a turtle story.”

Laufer focuses on a variety of these stories, making connections in a voice that is both engaging and scientific. Structured as a series of vignettes, this eclectic, informative book touches on a huge number of turtle species and their habitats, ranging from desert tortoises in the southwestern U.S. to olive ridley sea turtles in Gabon, Africa, and a Yunnan box turtle breeding project in China. His thorough reporting features interviews with people as widely diverse as herpetologists, conservationists, pet owners and even turtle poachers and smugglers. This colorful dialogue is interspersed with illustrative facts and statistics, while humorous stories involving Laufer’s own pet turtle, Fred, provide comic relief.

Laufer explains that for millennia, turtles have been trapped, fished and hunted, as they are revered in many cultures for their purported medicinal value, such as the belief that turtle eggs and meat heighten sexual performance and satisfaction. Others prize flavorful turtle meat not only for the taste but also for the “perceived exclusivity and conspicuous consumerism.” This concept also applies to the use of turtle to make pretty things such as tortoiseshell combs and jewelry and the smuggling of turtles to sell as expensive pets to collectors of the exotic.

Unfortunately, as Laufer finds, the general public isn’t typically concerned with these “mysterious, cold animals” and the threat of extinction they face due to man-made circumstances such as habitat loss, pollution, climate change and illegal trafficking. Turtles just don’t receive the same level of attention as cute and cuddly species like pandas. But after reading the enlightening and well-researched Dreaming in Turtle, hopefully more people will be moved to sit up and take notice of the importance and allure of these fascinating creatures.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews