2005 Grand Prize Winner of the Hamilton Book Awards

Recipient of $10,000

Eric R. Pianka, DSc.

Section of Integrative Biology

                     Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity


 2005 Press Release

 Winners of the Ninth Annual Hamilton Book Awards


March 24, 2005 - The winners of this year's University Co-op Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards were announced on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The Hamilton Awards are the highest honor of literary achievement given to published authors at the University of Texas at Austin. Chairperson of the University Co-operative Society, Dr. Michael Granof hosted the event and announced the winners. Dr. Larry Faulkner, President of The University of Texas at Austin, presented the awards.


$10,000 Grand Prize winner of the Hamilton Book Award was


Eric R. Pianka, DSc. - Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor in Zoology - Section of Integrative Biology


"Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity"

 Published by University of California Press


Dr. Pianka has co-authored this award winning book with Dr. Laurie J. Vitt of University of Oklahoma. According to Publishers Weekly, "In this coffee table nature book, two renowned lizard ecologists explain why these remarkable reptiles not only have as much a place on the planet as humans, but are also helpful in understanding evolutionary biology. Pianka and Vitt describe lizards' incredible diversity and highlight some of the creatures' weirder tools for survival, including blood-squirting eyes, breakaway tails and kaleidoscope camouflage. With the hundreds of extraordinary color photographs picturing lizards in their own habitats, general readers might be tempted to page past text that includes a behavioral overview, a phylogenetic guide and an evolutionary analysis of lizards' past and future. However, most of the research is accessible to non-scientists, thanks to clear writing and layman's anecdotes illustrating nearly every theory. Sidebars contain delightful personal stories about the authors' adventures collecting lizards in remote places, and the book is full of gee-whiz facts: some lizards are tiny enough to be prey for spiders, while others are big enough to eat deer".

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