Award-winning science author Anthony D. Fredericks has signed a contract with Ruka Press® to publish his new work, Horseshoe Crab: A Biography of the Creature Older than Time. Fredericks is currently writing the book, with publication tentatively planned for Spring 2012.
Fredericks has written nearly 400 magazine and journal articles and 119 books, including three college textbooks, 75 education books, and several adult trade books, such as the recent How Long Things Live: And How They Live as Long as They Do (Stackpole Books) and Walking with Dinosaurs: Rediscovering Coloradoâ€™s Prehistoric Beasts (Johnson Books). Moreover, he is the author of more than 35 childrenâ€™s books in a variety of genres, primarily environmental science and natural history, and he co-authored with Isaac Asimov the best-selling Science Fair Handbook, 3rd Ed. (Good Year, 2005). Several of his childrenâ€™s books have won awards; Around One Cactus: Owls, Bats, and Leaping Rats (Dawn) won a 2004 Teacherâ€™s Choice Award. He has been a professional educator for nearly 40 years.
Author Anthony D. Fredericks
Horseshoe Crab: A Biography of the Creature Older than Time is the first adult trade book to deal exclusively with this relic of the past that is not really a crab, but a throwback to an era long since vanished. Horseshoe Crab will feature compelling insights, captivating biology, wry observations and up-to-the-minute natural history that will keep readers engaged and enthralled. The book will include humor, the latest research, fascinating individuals (scientists and lay people alike), and the awe of a fellow explorer as he guides readers on a journey of wonder.
Horseshoe crabs are prehistoric creatures that have survived for millennia but are still little understood; their blood is a medical miracle, and their traditional habitat, the Delaware Bay, is environmentally troubled. Similar to Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky and The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare, this is a guidebook for armchair marine biologists everywhere who seek amazing discoveries in concert with compelling narration.
Weâ€™re thrilled to be publishing this compelling book. Together with our first book, Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests, weâ€™re starting to build a strong list of fascinating, environmentally oriented titles that we canâ€™t wait to share with the public.
1/Catchy title except it is inaccurate — no creature is older than time! It is, however, “A Survivor of a 450 Million Year Lineage.”
2. Of the four extant species of horseshoe crabs, the American species, Limulus polyphemus is the oldest. According to one study it arose from an ancestral species some 135 million years ago. The three Asian species evolved more recently.
3. There are a dozen or more technical books on horseshoe crabs of which at least four are major treatises. In addition, Kukenthal’s Handbuch der Zoologie is being revised. There is so large a literature on horseshoe crabs that few if any scientists have a full grasp of this informaiton. Of course we do not know everything but there is certainly more information that can be included in a 1,000 page popular summary. So, I wish you and Mr. Fredericks success!
I am delighted by Dr. Shuster’s comments. I will be interviewing him (and other experts) for the book and his insights and expertise will be a most valued component of this tome. He is absolutely correct about the “older than time” reference which was written to generate some initial reader interest. Certainly, any species with a 450 million-year-old lineage transcends “human time,” but never biological time. I look forward to working with the folks at Ruka Press to develop a final title that is both scientifically acurate and marketable (and, hopefully, “catchy”).
Dr. Shuster also points to one of the significant factors I am wrestling with – the incredible amount of information available on this creature. I hope to present some of the most compelling and most fascinating to the public – providing readers with an abiding appreciation for specific aspects of this remarkable animal. A liberal dose of humor and the awe of a fellow layperson will also be woven through the book.
I look forward to additional communications with Dr. Shuster. He stands as one of the “giants” of this field and I am thrilled to be able to tap into his knowledge and perspectives. I know readers will be equally thrilled by his energy and acumen.