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Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur Paperback – May 29 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1 edition (May 29 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805083189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805083187
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #316,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. MacArthur fellow and John Burroughs Award–winner Safina (Song for the Blue Ocean) presents an impassioned account of the plight of ocean-dwelling turtles, especially the largest, the leatherback, "the closest thing we have to a living dinosaur." Leatherbacks, which can weigh over a ton, range the oceans to nesting sites on beaches along the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards. Safina travels to many of these sites, bringing the reader into the turtles' world as he describes how the females leave the ocean, cross sandy beaches, dig huge pits using their flippers as spades, lay their eggs and then creep back into the sea. He shows how precarious this world is; nature's dangers are always present, but it's human activities that threaten the turtles with extinction: poaching, longline fishing nets in which the turtles can drown and depletion of the turtles' food supply due to overfishing and global warming. There are remedies, such as intensive nest-saving programs, but these take time to implement, and time is running out for the turtles. Safina's eloquent book is a battle cry in the struggle for the survival of one of the world's most beautiful and endangered creatures. Maps. (June 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–This book is Safina's personal journal of the migration of the leatherback, loggerhead, and green turtles. These aquatic creatures of reptilian descent wander throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Eventually they die in captivity because they don't understand boundaries. This limitless ocean life is in jeopardy due to long-line fishing, poaching, and commercial development along the beaches of Trinidad and Mexico, where they nest. The author is passionate about conservation efforts, describing the eco-tourist work of Nature Seekers and the legal efforts of Oceana in protecting the now critically endangered leatherback turtles. More than a chronicle of attempts to save the species, Turtle captures the physical magnitude of these ancient creatures and the repetitive calm of their endless travels. Safina's simple and deeply personal style captures both the mystery of the leatherbacks' life cycle and the need to develop a global understanding of their plight to survive. This title will quickly become a part of the classroom libraries of those teaching life science and ecology.–Brigeen Radoicich, Fresno County Office of Education, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
"Welcome to Matura," the night-darkened sign had said, "Home of the Leatherback Turtles." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The human diaspora across the planet has been Nature's most jarring event since the Cretaceous. Not since an asteroid slammed into the Caribbean 65 million years ago has anything exceeded what our species has done to upset the diversity of life. A mysterious group of animals, leftovers from that bolide, is revealing its secrets to enquiring scientists. The sea-going turtles, whose peregrinations around the world's oceans, are revealing new information about their enigmatic lives. Carl Safina followed the turtles and the people studying them to describe the findings and what they mean. This brilliant account reveals turtle life and the threats they endure.

After reminding us that only seven species of sea turtle remain, Safina visits the Caribbean to describe the great Leatherbacks coming ashore and nesting. Emerging through the night's surf, she finds a particular spot, one which may require more than one attempt, then with her back to the site, uses her rear flippers to blindly scoop out a hole to drop her eggs. Safina describes his wonder at her ability to do this without seeing the effect of her digging. Not all turtles manage this without mishap, and in a few cases the caring observers do the digging for her. In either case she drops her eggs, covers them with sand in a way to camouflage the spot, then returns to the sea. From the surf line, she swims away to some unknown destination. When the eggs hatch, the surviving young follow her to the sea. For the males, it's the last time they will feel land under their flippers.

The destination long remained a mystery until tagged turtles began appearing thousands of kilometres away. Safina joins a boat seeking Swordfish over the Canadian Grand Banks as a means of finding the giant turtles.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a gift from a fellow turtle lover. I was daunted by the length and technical expertise of the book, and as a result I didn't begin to read it for a year after I received the gift. Once I started, I couldn't put it down and read it in a matter of days.

This book is extremely well written and researched. The style breaks down intensive research, data and statistics into a easy to comprehend read. Not only does it describe the state of leatherback turtles around the world in detail, but give the reader a deep understanding of the invaluable function of our oceans. The book links the function of so many aspects of our oceans together in a way that is relevant to the reader and their way of life. I came away with much more knowledge than I anticipated and a sense of urgency to protect this enormous resource.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Others have already written much better reviews than I could, and they are not exaggerated reviews either. This book pulled me in and I didn't want to stop reading. It moved me to tears, but also gave hope that we could turn the tide. Before I even finished the book I emailed friends and told them to put down whatever they're reading now, and start reading this book. I have an informal list of my top five favourite non-fiction books, and Voyage of the Turtle is now easily in my top five books. Beautifully written. poignant, wonderful, and very informative. A unhesitating five stars.
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Format: Paperback
This summary of knowledge about primarily the endangered Leatherback turtle was immensely valuable for me as I am preparing to go to Costa Rica for a trip to work with various sea turtles, one of which may be the Leatherback - largest reptile of the ocean! Highly recommended reading for anyone wishing to understand sea turtles better and are conservation minded. The book is very well presented and interesting to read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an amazing story of survival....over thousands of years.
I found this the easiest to read of Carl Safina's books,all of which are extemely well written.
The things that I learned about the leatherbacks in particular were well worth the price of the book.
Carl Safina makes you care about the turtles and feel their struggles even if you've never seen a turtle before.
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