Botanist, taxonomist and plant collector Sandra Knapp has put together an eclectic coffee-table–sized history of plants, flowers and botanical exploration illustrated with glorious color reproductions of paintings from London's Natural History Museum. Plant Discoveries: A Botanist's Voyage Through Plant Exploration (Firefly Books, $60) profiles 20 plant families, including peonies, poppies, roses, irises, tulips, cacti, conifers and daffodils. The coast banksia (Banksia integrifolia) at right was collected at Botany Bay by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on Captain Cook's expedition in the 1770s. At left is a fan palm (Livistona humilis) sketched by Ferdinand Bauer in January 1803 at Blue Mud Bay in Australia's Northern Territory.
"Penguins are 10 times older than humans and have been here for a very, very long time," said Daniel Ksepka, Ph.D., a researcher at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Dr. Ksepka researches the evolution of penguins and how they came to inhabit the African continent.
Because penguins have been around for over 60 million years, their fossil record is extensive. Fossils that Dr. Ksepka and his colleagues have discovered provide clues about migration patterns and the diversity of penguin species.
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