Life in Cold Blood

Life in Cold Blood offers a rare glimpse into the peculiar world of amphibians and reptiles, the first vertebrate creatures to venture forth from the primeval waters millions of years ago, yet which today include species that are the most at risk of extinction. Join acclaimed naturalist Sir David Attenborough as he travels to the far corners of the Earth to tell the epic story of these animals in this companion to the television series. Discover the secrets of their astounding success - and the profound implications of their uncertain future.

Amphibians and reptiles once ruled the planet, and their descendants exhibit some of the most colorful variety and astounding behavior known to the animal kingdom. What are the origins of these creatures? How have they transformed themselves into the beautiful and bizarre forms found today? In this gorgeously illustrated book, Attenborough gets up close and personal with the living descendants of the first vertebrates ever to colonize the land, and through them traces the fascinating history of their pioneering ancestors. He explains the ways amphibians and reptiles have changed little from their prehistoric forebears while also demonstrating how they have adapted and evolved into diverse new forms, some of them beyond our wildest imaginings. And Attenborough raises awareness of the threats global warming and other man-made environmental changes pose to many of these creatures. Life in Cold Blood inspires a genuine sense of wonder about amphibians and reptiles and the marvels of the natural world around us.

"Careful observation and love of nature are the hallmarks of Sir David's work. Life in Cold Blood covers far more than snakes, being an investigation of all amphibians and reptiles, and it is the latest in a series of projects that have covered almost all life on earth. Sir David is now in his early eighties, and the arduous nature of his work suggests that this may well be the last of the great ventures into nature. In Life in Cold Blood, Sir David has left the best wine for last." - Tim Flannery, New York Review of Books

"Attenborough travels to the ends of the earth to tell the story of these creatures, raising awareness of the threats of environmental destruction along the way." - Scientific American

"Even a person normally immune to the charms of amphibians and reptiles will soon be drawn in by the fascinating color photographs of Life in Cold Blood, the latest book by broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough. The next thing you know, you're shoving the book under your friends' noses, insisting that they have a look." - Flora Taylor, American Scientist

"Life in Cold Blood adds to film naturalist and author Attenborough's rich legacy of fine books and documentaries providing vivid, concise accounts of life-forms. . . . The book offers a nice balance between large conceptual issues that define the world of ectothermic tetrapods and less well-known yet fascinating facts. Basic life history including diet, locomotion, reproductive habits, and geographical distribution are presented, with just the right amount of fossil record content tying it all together. This modest-sized, nicely bound book is generously illustrated with excellent color plates and includes explanations of the origins of numerous names and terms." - J.E. Platz, Choice

"The latest tour de force of naturalist and prolific author, David Attenborough, Life in Cold Blood takes us on a fascinating tour through the often bizarre and alien world of Tikaalik's amphibian and reptile descendants." - Explorers Journal

"Profusely illustrated and written in Sir David Attenborough's inimitable style - his writing is wonderfully effortless - this is the final book of four in a series on vertebrates by the respected 80-year-old naturalist. Experts might find much of the material here familiar, but generalists who are fascinated by the world around us will be captivated. I'll confess a weakness for books where you learn something new every page. With Attenborough you're likely to learn something new every paragraph." - Marc Horton, The Edmonton Journal

"Naturalist Attenborough uses his considerable talent to explain the world of reptiles and amphibians, the descendants of the first vertebrates of prehistoric life. He also warns of the threat of man-made environmental changes that threaten their existence. This volume includes 200 photos, some of them truly amazing." - Angelyn N. Hutchinson, Deseret Morning News

"[T]he accessibility and accuracy of the text, combined with its low price, make this an ideal choice for the amateur naturalist's introduction to the herpetological world." - Aaron M. Bauer, Quarterly Review of Biology

"This is nature writing at its best for the author is a natural born storyteller. . . . As a planning aid, this book offers a list of the best spots for seeing wildlife." - Connie Krochmal, BellaOnline


Life in Cold Blood is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the United Kingdom from 4 February 2008 on BBC One.

A study of the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles, it is the sixth and last of Attenborough's specialised surveys following his major trilogy that began with Life on Earth.

The series comprises five 50-minute programmes, each one followed by Under the Skin, a 10-minute section that features Attenborough interviewing the scientists whose work has led to the sequences included in the main programme. It also examines the challenges faced by the crew and reveals some of the techniques used to film the series.

The series is a co-production between the BBC and Animal Planet. The executive producer is Sara Ford and the series producer is Miles Barton. The Under the Skin segments were produced by James Brickell in collaboration with the Open University. The score for the main films was composed by David Poore and Ben Salisbury, whilst the music for Under the Skin was written and performed by Tony Briscoe.

The series won the 2009 BAFTA Television Award in the Specialist Factual category.[3] Within David Attenborough's 'Life' series, it is preceded by Life in the Undergrowth (2005). - Wikipedia


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