Cover image for Secret worlds
Secret worlds
Dalton, Stephen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Willowdale, Ont. : Firefly Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
159 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR721 .D34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



A pioneer of high-speed photography, Stephen Dalton is one of the world's greatest nature photographers. These 250 astonishing images celebrate the birds, insects, mammals and countryside that Dalton appreciates as an artist, a scientist and a lover of wildlife.

The concentrated energy of the visual work is offset by the light touch Dalton brings to the accompanying text. Informative and engaging, he tells of the challenges of adjusting to his subject's schedule rather than following his own. But Dalton's greatest gift is revealing the adaptive genius of some of nature's most familiar creatures.

Secret Worlds features:

Nocturnal predators capturing prey Frogs, mice, and fleas in mid-leap The Jesus Lizard walking on water

Naturalists everywhere will be enthralled by this vivid exploration of the hidden worlds that surround us.

Author Notes

Stephen Dalton 's high-speed wildlife photography has earned him a devoted following among both nature lovers and photographers. Dalton has published several books including Secret Lives , Caught in Motion , The Secret Life of a Garden , Vanishing Paradise and At the Water's Edge .

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Nature photographer Dalton (At the Water's Edge) combines high-speed photography, line drawings and text "to explain the basic principles that underlie all forms of winged flight, whether by insect, bird or man." In five abundantly illustrated chapters, Dalton explains the basic principles of aerodynamics, the evolution of flight by insects (the first members of the animal kingdom to take to the air), the adaptations that have permitted birds of all sizes to fly, the history of human flight and the essentials of transonic, supersonic and hypersonic flight. Because each (relatively brief) chapter is responsible for such a broad array of material, his coverage is superficial. Nonetheless, he includes a great deal of intriguing material. From a biological perspective, he reports, for example, that "four-winged insects, such as butterflies, moths, bees and wasps," have evolved anatomical mechanisms to lock their forewings and hindwings together in such a way that they operate in tandem; and we're shown how the albatross can fly "hundreds of miles with scarcely a flap of its 10-foot-long wings." From an engineering perspective, Dalton demonstrates why the Concorde's elaborate fuel delivery system, consisting of 13 interconnected tanks, is the most ingenious portion of the plane. While too technical in parts for the casual reader, this book is sure to engage anyone with even a passing interest in aviationÄand the color photos and illustrations of flying machines, both organic (insects, birds, bats) and inorganic (airplanes, gliders, etc.), are magnificent. $50,000 ad campaign. (Oct.) FYI: In October, Firefly will also publish Secret Worlds, a collection, with copious captions, of Dalton's marvelous full-color wildlife photographs. ($35 160p ISBN 1-55209-384-0) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introduction: Early Daysp. 6
The Seventies: Breaking the High-Speed Barrierp. 10
The Eighties: Woodland and Watersidep. 60
The Nineties: on Our Doorstepp. 106
Indexp. 158