The Song of the Dodo

Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439124965

Category: Nature

Page: 704

View: 4348

David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in precarious times, which radically alters the way in which we understand the natural world and our place in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment and wonders. In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen intellect through the ideas, theories, and experiments of prominent naturalists of the last two centuries. We trail after him as he travels the world, tracking the subject of island biogeography, which encompasses nothing less than the study of the origin and extinction of all species. Why is this island idea so important? Because islands are where species most commonly go extinct -- and because, as Quammen points out, we live in an age when all of Earth's landscapes are being chopped into island-like fragments by human activity. Through his eyes, we glimpse the nature of evolution and extinction, and in so doing come to understand the monumental diversity of our planet, and the importance of preserving its wild landscapes, animals, and plants. We also meet some fascinating human characters. By the book's end we are wiser, and more deeply concerned, but Quammen leaves us with a message of excitement and hope.
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The Song of the Dodo

Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0684827123

Category: Nature

Page: 702

View: 1988

Takes a close-up look at island biogeography, the science of the geographic distribution of life on islands, and its significance in terms of evolution and extinction
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The Song Of The Dodo

Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448137403

Category: Nature

Page: 704

View: 2444

Why have island ecosystems always suffered such high rates of extinction? In our age, with all the world's landscapes, from Tasmania to the Amazon to Yellowstone, now being carved into island-like fragments by human activity, the implications of this question are more urgent than ever. Over the past eight years, David Quammen has followed the threads of island biogeography on a globe-encircling journey of discovery.
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Wild Thoughts from Wild Places

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439125279

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 8220

In Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, award-winning journalist David Quammen reminds us why he has become one of our most beloved science and nature writers. This collection of twenty-three of Quammen's most intriguing, most exciting, most memorable pieces takes us to meet kayakers on the Futaleufu River of southern Chile, where Quammen describes how it feels to travel in fast company and flail for survival in the river's maw. We are introduced to the commerce in pearls (and black-market parrots) in the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. Quammen even finds wildness in smog-choked Los Angeles -- embodied in an elusive population of urban coyotes, too stubborn and too clever to surrender to the sprawl of civilization. With humor and intelligence, David Quammen's Wild Thoughts from Wild Places also reminds us that humans are just one of the many species on earth with motivations, goals, quirks, and eccentricities. Expect to be entertained and moved on this journey through the wilds of science and nature.
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Monster Of God

The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448163196

Category: Nature

Page: 528

View: 2368

For millennia, nature's biggest and fiercest predators have tormented mankind. The knowledge and fear of the existence of these ferocious man-eaters is forever in the back of our minds, looming in our worst nightmares. Millions of humans have suffered attacks by predators on land and at sea. Yet animals have always shared the landscape with humans. Since the dawn of time our ecosystems have been linked and humans have co-existed with flesh-eating beasts as members of the same food chain. Now, of course, as humans spread and despoil the planet, these fearsome predators may only survive on the other side of glass barriers and chain-link fences. Their gradual disappearance is changing the nature of our own existence. We no longer occupy an intermediate position on the food chain; instead we survey it invulnerably from above - so far above that we are in danger of forgetting that we even belong to an ecosystem. David Quammen's enthralling new book covers the four corners of the globe as he explores the fate of lions in India's Gir forest, saltwater crocodiles in Northern Australia, brown bears in the mountains of Romania, and Siberian tigers. Tracking these great and terrible beasts through the toughest terrain in the world, Quammen is equally intrigued by the traditional relationship between the great predators and the people who live among them, and weaves into his story the fears and myths that have haunted humankind for 3000 years.
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The Flight of the Iguana

A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476728739

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 7266

From the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo comes a collection of essays in which various weird and wonderful aspects of nature are examined. This book contains tales of vegetarian piranha fish, voiceless dogs, and a scientific search for the genes that threaten to destroy the cheetah.
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Natural Acts

A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Schocken Books Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 221

View: 9933

Essays discuss bats, octopuses, crows, snakes, cockroaches, dinosaurs, bisons, animal rights, hypothermia, sea cucumbers, black widow spiders, and mosquitoes
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Darwin's Finches

Readings in the Evolution of a Scientific Paradigm

Author: Kathleen Donohue

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226157717

Category: Nature

Page: 492

View: 850

Two species come to mind when one thinks of the Galapagos Islands—the giant tortoises and Darwin’s fabled finches. While not as immediately captivating as the tortoises, these little brown songbirds and their beaks have become one of the most familiar and charismatic research systems in biology, providing generations of natural historians and scientists a lens through which to view the evolutionary process and its role in morphological differentiation. In Darwin’s Finches, Kathleen Donohue excerpts and collects the most illuminating and scientifically significant writings on the finches of the Galapagos to teach the fundamental principles of evolutionary theory and to provide a historical record of scientific debate. Beginning with fragments of Darwin’s Galapagos field notes and subsequent correspondence, and moving through the writings of such famed field biologists as David Lack and Peter and Rosemary Grant, the collection demonstrates how scientific processes have changed over time, how different branches of biology relate to one another, and how they all relate to evolution. As Donohue notes, practicing science today is like entering a conversation that has been in progress for a long, long time. Her book provides the history of that conversation and an invitation to join in. Students of both evolutionary biology and history of science will appreciate this compilation of historical and contemporary readings and will especially value Donohue’s enlightening commentary.
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Spillover

Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Vintage Books

ISBN: 9780099522850

Category: Medical

Page: 587

View: 3189

First, a horse in Brisbane falls ill: fever, swelling, bloody froth. Then thirteen others drop dead. The foreman at the stables becomes ill and the trainer dies. What is going on? As globalization spreads and as we destroy the ancient ecosystems, we encounter strange and dangerous infections that originate in animals but that can be transmitted to humans. Diseases that were contained are being set free and the results are potentially catastrophic. In a journey that takes him from southern China to the Congo, from Bangladesh to Australia, David Quammen tracks these infections to their source and asks what we can do to prevent some new pandemic spreading across the face of the earth.
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Blood Line

Stories of Fathers and Sons

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Big Earth Publishing

ISBN: 9781555662721

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 1716

Blood Line explores the complicated liaisons between fathers and sons. Though using traditional masculine backdrops, the three stories in the collection go beyond a portrayal of physical and emotional endurance to evoke the blending of guilt, rebellion, patricide, and the transcending power of kinship that allow both father and son to place themselves in relationship to each other and in relation to the world.
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The Boilerplate Rhino

Nature in the Eye of the Beholder

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439125430

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 1584

In 1981 David Quammen began what might be every freelance writer's dream: a monthly column for Outside magazine in which he was given free rein to write about anything that interested him in the natural world. His column was called "Natural Acts," and for the next fifteen years he delighted Outside's readers with his fascinating ruminations on the world around us. The Boilerplate Rhino brings together twenty-six of Quammen's most thoughtful and engaging essays from that column, none previously printed in any of his earlier books. In lucid, penetrating, and often quirkily idiosyncratic prose, David Quammen takes his readers with him as he explores the world. His travels lead him to rattlesnake handlers in Texas; a lizard specialist in Baja; the dinosaur museum in Jordan, Montana; and halfway across Indonesia in search of the perfect Durian fruit. He ponders the history of nutmeg in the southern Moluccas, meditates on bioluminescent beetles while soaking in the waters of the Amazon, and delivers "The Dope on Eggs" from a chicken ranch near his hometown in Montana. Quammen's travels are always jumping-off points to explore the rich and sometimes horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.
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The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (Great Discoveries)

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393076342

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 1828

"Quammen brilliantly and powerfully re-creates the 19th century naturalist's intellectual and spiritual journey."--Los Angeles Times Book Review Twenty-one years passed between Charles Darwin's epiphany that "natural selection" formed the basis of evolution and the scientist's publication of On the Origin of Species. Why did Darwin delay, and what happened during the course of those two decades? The human drama and scientific basis of these years constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution.
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Feral

Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Author: George Monbiot

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022620555X

Category: Nature

Page: 319

View: 442

As an investigative journalist, Monbiot found a mission in his ecological boredom, that of learning what it might take to impose a greater state of harmony between himself and nature. He was not one to romanticize undisturbed, primal landscapes, but rather in his attempts to satisfy his cravings for a richer, more authentic life, he came stumbled into the world of restoration and rewilding. When these concepts were first introduced in 2011, very recently, they focused on releasing captive animals into the wild. Soon the definition expanded to describe the reintroduction of animal and plant species to habitats from which they had been excised. Some people began using it to mean the rehabilitation not just of particular species, but of entire ecosystems: a restoration of wilderness. Rewilding recognizes that nature consists not just of a collection of species but also of their ever-shifting relationships with each other and with the physical environment. Ecologists have shown how the dynamics within communities are affected by even the seemingly minor changes in species assemblages. Predators and large herbivores have transformed entire landscapes, from the nature of the soil to the flow of rivers, the chemistry of the oceans, and the composition of the atmosphere. The complexity of earth systems is seemingly boundless."
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The Theory of Island Biogeography

Author: Robert H. MacArthur,Edward O. Wilson

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400881374

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 9634

Biogeography was stuck in a "natural history phase" dominated by the collection of data, the young Princeton biologists Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson argued in 1967. In this book, the authors developed a general theory to explain the facts of island biogeography. The theory builds on the first principles of population ecology and genetics to explain how distance and area combine to regulate the balance between immigration and extinction in island populations. The authors then test the theory against data. The Theory of Island Biogeography was never intended as the last word on the subject. Instead, MacArthur and Wilson sought to stimulate new forms of theoretical and empirical studies, which will lead in turn to a stronger general theory. Even a third of a century since its publication, the book continues to serve that purpose well. From popular books like David Quammen's Song of the Dodo to arguments in the professional literature, The Theory of Island Biogeography remains at the center of discussions about the geographic distribution of species. In a new preface, Edward O. Wilson reviews the origins and consequences of this classic book.
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The Chimp and the River

How AIDS Emerged from an African Forest

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473523958

Category: Science

Page: 176

View: 3009

The real story of AIDS - how it originated with a virus in a chimpanzee, jumped to one human and infected more than 60 million people - is very different from what most of us think we know. Recent research has revealed dark surprises and yielded a radically new scenario of how AIDS began and spread. Excerpted and adapted from Spillover, with a new introduction by the author, Quammen's hair-raising investigation tracks the virus from chimp population s in the jungles off the southeastern Cameroon to laboratories across the globe, as he unravels the mysteries of when, where and how such a consequential 'spillover' can happen. An audacious search for answers amid more than a century of data, The Chimp and the River tells the haunting tale of one of the most devastating pandemics of our time.
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The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0008310696

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 7533

Our understanding of the ‘tree of life’, with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed.
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A Gap in Nature

Discovering the World's Extinct Animals

Author: Tim Fridtjof Flannery,Peter Schouten

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780434008193

Category: Extinct animals

Page: 184

View: 5481

A lament for the lost animals of the world. In collaboration with Peter Schouten, a prominent wildlife artist, Flannery catalogues over 100 creatures that have vanished from the face of the earth.
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The Monkey's Voyage

How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life

Author: Alan de Queiroz

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465069762

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 6512

How did species wind up where they are today? Scientists have long conjectured that plants and animals dispersed throughout the world by drifting on large landmasses as they broke up, but in The Monkey's Voyage, biologist Alan de Queiroz offers a radical new theory that displaces this passive view. He describes how species as diverse as monkeys, baobab trees, and burrowing lizards made incredible long-distance ocean crossings: pregnant animals and wind-blown plants rode rafts and icebergs and even stowed away on the legs of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In the tradition of John McPhee's Basin and Range and David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo, The Monkey's Voyage is a beautifully told narrative of a profound investigation into the importance of contingency in history and the nature of scientific discovery.
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Foundations of Biogeography

Classic Papers with Commentaries

Author: Mark V. Lomolino,Dov F. Sax,James H. Brown,International Biogeography Society,National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226492360

Category: Science

Page: 1291

View: 7935

Foundations of Biogeography provides facsimile reprints of seventy-two works that have proven fundamental to the development of the field. From classics by Georges-Louis LeClerc Compte de Buffon, Alexander von Humboldt, and Charles Darwin to equally seminal contributions by Ernst Mayr, Robert MacArthur, and E. O. Wilson, these papers and book excerpts not only reveal biogeography's historical roots but also trace its theoretical and empirical development. Selected and introduced by leading biogeographers, the articles cover a wide variety of taxonomic groups, habitat types, and geographic regions. Foundations of Biogeography will be an ideal introduction to the field for beginning students and an essential reference for established scholars of biogeography, ecology, and evolution. List of Contributors John C. Briggs, James H. Brown, Vicki A. Funk, Paul S. Giller, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Lawrence R. Heaney, Robert Hengeveld, Christopher J. Humphries, Mark V. Lomolino, Alan A. Myers, Brett R. Riddle, Dov F. Sax, Geerat J. Vermeij, Robert J. Whittaker
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Gods of the Morning: A Bird's-Eye View of a Changing World

Author: John Lister-Kaye

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1605987972

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 7048

A celebration of birds that reflects a year in the wild, revealing how these amazing creatures embody our changing world, by one of Britain's foremost naturalists. Gods of the Morning follows the year through the turning of the seasons at Aigas, the Highlands estate John Lister-Kaye has transformed into a world-renowned wildlife center. John's affection, wisdom and lyricism sings off every page, bringing the natural world around him to life: from the rookery filled with twenty-nine nests and distinct bird calls to descriptions of the winter morning light, from the wood mice and the squirrels preparing for winter to tracking a fox's path through the snow. In particular it brings John's lifelong love of birds—his gods of the morning—to the fore. In the Highland glens, bird numbers plummet as their food supplies—natural fruits and every kind of creeping, crawling, slithering or flying bug—begin to disappear. Not just the swallows and house martins have vanished from round the houses. Gone are the insect snatching wheatears, whinchats and stonechats from the hills, and redstarts and flycatchers have fled the woods. Pied wagtails no longer flicker across the lawns and sandpipers and grey wagtails have deserted the river banks. Farmland and hedgerow species have vanished in the night: the linnets, yellowhammers, and all the warblers have decamped from the thickets. By the first frosts the hills will have emptied down to a few hardy stalwarts such as the golden eagles, the raven and the irrepressible hooded crows. Silence settles across the land. The few species that are left frequent a changed world. Soon only the buzzards and wood pigeons will hang on in the woods and the coniferous forests will be host to flocks of chaffinches, tits, siskins, and crossbills passing through.
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