In a wonderful weave of science, metaphor, and prose, David Quammen, author of The Flight of the Iguana, applies the lessons of island biogeography - the study of the distribution of species on islands and islandlike patches of landscape - to modern ecosystem decay, offering us insight into the origin and extinction of species, our relationship to nature, and the future of our world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Quammen (Natural Acts) has successfully mixed genres in this highly impressive and thoroughly enjoyable work. The scientific journalism is first-rate, with the extremely technical field of island biogeography made fully accessible. We learn how the discipline developed and how it has changed conservation biology. And we learn just how critical this field is in the face of massive habitat destruction. The book is also a splendid example of natural history writing, for which Quammen traveled extensively. The Channel Islands off California and the Madagascan lemurs are captivatingly portrayed. Equally impressive are the character studies of the scientists who have been at the forefront of island biogeography. From his extended historical analysis of the journeys and insights of 19th-century biologist Alfred Russell Wallace to his field and laboratory interviews with many of the men and women who have followed in Wallace's intellectual wake, Quammen delightfully adds the human dimension to his discussion of science and natural history. Using a canvas as large as the world, he masterfully melds anecdotes about swimming elephants, collecting fresh feces from arboreal primates in Brazil and searching for the greater bird of paradise on the tiny island of Aru into an irreverent masterpiece. That a book on so technical a subject could be so enlightening, humorous and engaging is an extraordinary achievement. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I had to read this book for a biodiversity class. Overall the anecdotes are nice and the important terms are well defined but I found the reading redudant. Read morePublished on Dec 31 2012 by Student
David Quammen brilliantly blends fascinating personal travel stories with scientific theories of Island Biogeography in this work. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2010 by ReadQuality
"Song of the Dodo" is a big book (over 600 pages) about a big subject, but it never feels long or rambling. Read morePublished on June 5 2003 by LycaonPictus
The Song of the Dodo is a charming and inspirational yet detailed and informative depiction of the origin, route and future of civilisaton. Read morePublished on April 18 2003 by Debby Ng
... As someone who has spent nearly a quarter of a century studying birds on islands I normally welcome new insights on the subject, especially when they are written in a... Read morePublished on April 1 2003 by John Anderson
I read the chapters pertaining to the Galapagos from this excellent new book by Outside magazine writing star, Quammen. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2003 by Glen Engel Cox
All in all not a bad book but... why did Quammen feel he had to include all the darwin bashing in the first chapter? Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2002
*The Song of the Dodo* is a very long book on what some of us believe to be a vitally important subject, the ongoing loss of worldwide bioversity. Read morePublished on April 26 2002 by Douglas A. Greenberg