G.P. Putnam's Sons (1977). 128pp. including index. 9 x 12 inches. Hardcover. ISBN 0-399-11886-1.
A scattering of shells, a few curios cast up by the tide and the pungent, salty smell of seaweed are all that the casual visitor to the beach may notice. Yet the shifting frontier between the land and water harbors a huge variety of animals and plants. The Seashore introduces the reader to this little-known world and details the complex, interdependent community of flora and fauna. It proceeds from the first principles of geology and offers a straightforward account of the forces of wind and water that shape the world's coastlines. The delicate ecologies of the different kinds of shore are explained and the drastic effects of human intervention examined.
Survival in a habitat that changes radically with tides and weather requires remarkable adaptations, and Robert Burton's compelling text describes the structure and behavior of both familiar and rare species. Typical shores from around the world are examined in detail together with the exotic species that inhabit them, while the sections on shorebirds and the strand-line will please bird-lovers and beachcombers alike. Throughout the book more than ahundred superb color photographs complement a text which brings alive the world of the seashore in a clear and entertaining way.
Robert Burton is a naturalist with wide-ranging interests. A natural sciences graduate, he served for two years with the British Antartic Survey and in the course of his work has studed animal life in Iceland, Africa and many of the Scottish Islands. Mr. Burton's books include Animal Senses, Life and Death of Whales, The Mating Game, The Language of Smells, and How Birds Live. He is co-author of The Living Sea.
Front cover photograph: Atlantic coast, Portugal (Robert Eistall).
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