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This Is Not a Weasel: A Close Look at Nature's Most Confusing Terms

Philip B. Mortenson

18 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0471273961 / ISBN 13: 9780471273967
Published by Wiley, 2003
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books: West (Reno, NV, U.S.A.)

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Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP88533971

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Bibliographic Details

Title: This Is Not a Weasel: A Close Look at ...

Publisher: Wiley

Publication Date: 2003

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

How to tell a bison from a buffalo-not to mention a yam from a sweet potato
Here's a book for anyone who's ever wondered about the difference between a crayfish and a crawfish. Or a frog and a toad. Or a buzzard and a vulture. Animal taxonomy is not what you'd call an exact science, and the field is lousy with all sorts of confounding terms.
In this entertaining, highly useful reference, Philip Mortenson takes on a wide-ranging list of monikers, from plants to higher mammals. Reviewed by an impressive cadre of experts, the book lays to rest any lingering confusion over the distinctions between seemingly related-yet crucially distinct-terms, such as mushroom and toadstool; moss and lichen; crocodile and alligator; skate and ray; turtle and tortoise; and mink, sable, ferret, ermine, stoat, and weasel. Everyone from the language lover to the nature buff will be charmed by this book.
Philip B. Mortenson (Minneapolis, MN) studied the philosophy of science at the University of Minnesota.

From the Back Cover:

Is your softwood hard or is your hardwood soft?

How can you tell a buffalo from a bison and a yam from a sweet potato? What happens when a dolphin porpoises? Is it wrong to call a vulture a buzzard, and why are buzzards never called vultures? What’s the difference between a frog and a toad, and are crawfish and crayfish really the same? This Is Not a Weasel helps you make sense of the ubiquitous similarities, confounding terminology, and downright misnomers that make plant and animal names so confusing.

This entertaining and highly useful reference takes on a wide-ranging list of monikers for all types of plants and animals. It lays to rest any lingering confusion over the distinctions between seemingly related–yet crucially distinct–terms, such as hare and rabbit; seal and sea lion; moss and lichen; crocodile and alligator; skate and ray; turtle and tortoise; and mink, sable, ferret, ermine, stoat, and weasel. Reviewed by an impressive cadre of experts, this authoritative guide:

  • Defines and clarifies 240 frequently misapplied plant- and animal-related terms
  • Covers wild and domestic plants, insects, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals
  • Debunks common misconceptions and exposes flagrant misuse of terms
  • Identifies sources of confusion from history, the popular media, and scientific literature

Whether you’re a language lover, a nature buff, or just someone who insists on accurate information, you will find this a charming book.

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