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The Natural History of Madagascar Hardcover – Jan 1 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1728 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (Jan. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226303063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226303062
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 6.6 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,253,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The most thorough and comprehensive account of the natural history of Madagascar yet, and it will set the standard for many years to come."
(BBC Wildlife Magazine 2004-06-01)

"Sprinkled with colour photographs, The Natural History of Madagascar is an extraordinary compendium, complete and complex. Steven Goodman and Jonathan Benstead cover geological and human histories, as well as all major groups of animals and plants. . . . The introductory chapters for each of the major taxonomic groups will help to guide the novice reader into the glories and safely past the specialist shoals. . . . This wonderful book provides a magnificent overview of one of the strangest and most glorious chunks of the planet--a place that is so much more than a load of old lemurs."
(Adrian Barnett New Scientist 2004-03-08)

". . . spectacular images . . ."
(Harold Henderson Chicago Reader)

"In The Natural History of Madagascar researchers have captured the recent explosion of scientific knowledge about the unique organisms of this rugged island. In 1,700 pages, the book moves from the broad brush strokes of the island's geological history to detailed accounts of its organisms, including its famous aye-aye lemurs, its fantastical baobab trees, and its twelve-foot-tall elephant bird."
(Carol Kaesuk Yoon The New York Times 2004-03-30)

"For those who are serious about getting to know this fascinating island, there is no better resource than The Natural History of Madagascar.  It is the closest thing to a comprehensive natural history of the region ever produced."
(Tim Flannery Nature 2004-04-08)

"Given the severe threats facing the survival of Madagascar's biodiversity, this book could not have come at a better time. . . . Its accessible language and thorough coverage of the topics, in combination with its affordable price, ensures that The Natural History of Madagascar will become an indispensable resource and educational tool for all those with an interest in Madagascar."

(Summer J. Arrigo-Nelson Quarterly Review of Biology)

"A scientific milestone and by far the largest synthesis of tropical biology research ever."
(Science 2003-09-26)

"A vast and comprehensive work that will be a key reference on the country's biodiversity for years to come. It will also stand testament to the future efforts of conservationists to protect the island's unique natural heritage."
(Economist 2004-04-22)

"For anyone interested in the botany of Madagascar, I would strongly recommend this book. It contains a vast amount of information on the flora of the island and is also a major source of references to literature on the Madagascan flora."
(Peter V. Bruyns Plant Systematics and Evolution)

"As a resource . . . it stands alone. . . . This is no neo-colonial view of the island, but a modern, integrated--both biologically and culturally--look at one of the most fascinating places on Earth. . . . The book is copiously illustrated with stunning colour photographs. . . . Every scientist concerned with diversity should have this book on their shelves."
(Sandra Knapp Biological Conservation)

From the Inside Flap

Separated from the mainland of Africa for 160 million years, Madagascar has evolved an incredible wealth of biodiversity, with thousands of species that can be found nowhere else on earth. For instance, of its estimated 12,000 plant species, nearly 10,000 are unique to Madagascar. Malagasy animals are just as spectacular, from its almost forty currently recognized species of lemurs—a primate group found only here—to the numerous species of tiny dwarf chameleons. With astounding frequency scientists discover a previously unknown species in Madagascar—and at almost the same rate another natural area of habitat is degraded or destroyed, a combination that recently led conservation organizations to name Madagascar one of the most important and threatened conservation priorities on the planet.

The Natural History of Madagascar provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date synthesis available of this island nation's priceless biological treasures. Contributions by nearly three hundred world-renowned experts cover the history of scientific exploration in Madagascar, its geology and soils, climate, forest ecology, human ecology, marine and coastal ecosystems, plants, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Detailed discussions of conservation efforts in Madagascar highlight several successful park reserve programs that could serve as models for other areas. Beautifully illustrated throughout, the book includes over one hundred color illustrations, with fifty color photos by nature photographer Harald Schütz, as well as more than three hundred black-and-white photographs and line drawings.

The Natural History of Madagascar will be the invaluable reference for anyone interested in the Malagasy environment, from biologists and conservationists to policymakers and ecotourists.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa200c2f4) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa200f084) out of 5 stars Superbook ! March 31 2008
By M. G. Kuijpers - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is for sure one of the heaviest books in my library, but what a book it is !

Everything you always wanted to know about Madagascar, and more, is in it.
From soil types to the use of the local plants,from Nile crocodiles to lemurs...incredible to see all these scientific papers bundeled together.

Are you studying Madagascar in any way this book is a must have.
Interested in the fauna,flora,geology,history...this book is what you need !

This book has a solid scientific base the text reflects this, keep this in mind. The photos are rare in this book but drawings and maps make up for this (as does the excellent text).
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa200f534) out of 5 stars The ultimate book on Madagascan natural history Dec 26 2013
By malcolm glennie holmes - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This massive tome is for the scientist, not the casual reader. At 1700 pages, it's too heavy to hold and has to be read spread on a table. If you want to know some arcane point about a lesser-known detail of a little-known facet of a just-discovered lesser spotted chameleon, which is only found within a 50-metre radius of an inaccessible spot on the very edge of the north coast, this is the book for you.