Resources for biology teachers

Field Guides for studying Natural History

  • Trees of Delhi: A Field Guide by Pradip Kishen – DK
  • Snakes of India: The Field Guide by Romulus Whitaker and Ashok Captain – Draco Books, Chennai
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of India by Krys Kazmierczak – OM Book Service
  • The Book of Indian Shells by Deepak Apte – BNHS
    For a full list of field guides available from BNHS, please check their website:

General reading on Natural History

  • King Solomon’s Ring: New Light on Animal Ways by Konrad Lorenz (Delightful Book)
  • Survival Strategies: Cooperation and Conflict in Animal Societies by Raghavendra Gadagkar
  • Jungle and Backyard by M Krishnan
  • The Rarest of the Rare by Diane Ackerman

General reading on different topics in biology

  • This is Biology: The Science of the Living World by Ernst Mayr
  • On Being the Right Size and Other Essays of JBS Haldane. Edited by John Maynard Smith — Oxford University Press
  • The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change by Richard Lewontin (1974). This book can be downloaded/read online at
  • Several books by Stephen J Gould can be sourced at
    – The Flamingo’s Smile: Reflections in Natural History
    – The Panda’s Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History
    – Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History
    – Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
  • Select essays from some of the books are available online for reading. See Select Essays by Stephen Jay Gould on the page:
  • The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carlson
  • The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. Two of Richard Dawkin’s earliest books can be downloaded/read online at
  • What is a Species, and What is Not? By Ernst Mayr (An absorbing essay.) Download/read it online at
  • The essay – On Being the Right size can be downloaded/read at
  • To know about ancient Indian Biologists read Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century by Dharampal. Goa: Other India Press.
  • The following books are by Dr. Oliver Sacks, a Neurologist, his books describe various neurological conditions.
    – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,
    – An Anthropologist on Mars,
    – The Island of the Colorblind,
    – Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain
  • Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V.S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee
  • Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species by Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan (An interesting view point that can be debated in a class on evolution)
  • Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution by Lynn Margulis (Simpler to read than the ones given above)
  • Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth by James Lovelock
  • Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth by Lynn Margulis, Stephen Jay Gould, Karlene V. Schwartz, Alexander R. Margulis
  • On Growth and Form by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (read this book when you have some time on your hand.)


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