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The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

David Quammen
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14. April 1997
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 + The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature
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  • Taschenbuch: 704 Seiten
  • Verlag: Scribner; Auflage: Reprint (14. April 1997)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0684827123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684827124
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,4 x 15,7 x 3,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.6 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (22 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 87.652 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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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. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


"Not only is this book compulsively readable - a masterpiece - it is maybe the masterpiece of science journalism" (Bill Mckibben Audobon Magazine)

"A moving book... Quammen is a good writer who has taken the time to master an important subject and do it justice" (Richard Dawkins The Times)

"Not since Gerald Durrell's books 30 years ago have I encountered such writing about the natural world. The witty, pithy, modest prose and the clever interweaving of science and storytelling are of a quality unrivalled in th field" (Matt Ridley Sunday Telegraph)

"Impressive and deeply moving...blends first-rate science journalism with superb travel and nature writing" (Financial Times)

"David Quammen is a brilliant young star of nature writing... His book is an important example of the genre, written in an enchanting style. His knowledge, based on years of research and adventure around the world, is truly impressive" (Edward O. Wilson, author of 'The Diversity of Life') -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Compelling natural history 19. September 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Compelling and fascinating book on island biogeography and biogeography in general. Another major theme is the decline in biodiversity on our planet. Good discussion on evolution as it relates to this subject, and the coverage on E.O. Wilson's ideas, who wrote the classic work in the area, is also excellent. Quammen visited many of the areas he writes about, for example, Madagascar, where he documents the tragic decline and loss of lemur and prosimian species through the erosion and destruction of the rainforest, and the effects of over-population. As I read this chapter I recalled another poignant observation about the beleaguered island--that space shuttle astronauts could actually see the red soil of Madagascar bleeding into the Indian Ocean from orbit--an appropos if somewhat morbid image for the greater ecological hemorrhaging of our own planet.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen

Dodo is not for Dodos. Quammen is supurb. 2. Juni 1997

Von Ein Kunde
Spring 1997. An active volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat forced thousands to flee the island. Britain is gripped by the worst drought in two centuries. The koala population in Australia is exploding. Brooklyn's trees are being eaten by the Asian long-horned beetle. If you see no relationship among these events, read David Quammen's superb book, "The Song of the Dodo," and learn about island biogeography, "the study of the facts and patterns of species distribution."

When most people look at animals they only see the animals--tigers, tortoises, hornbills, rhinos and so on. They never ask why an animal is the way it is or how it got that way; where it came from and what it is like. Few wonder why animals are where they are and why they're not where they're not. Quammen does, so he takes readers on an intriguing and fascinating tour of island biogeography that relates the history of famous early biologists from Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and Joseph Hooker to biogeographers of today like Michael Soulé and Edward O. Wilson.

Quammen's bibliography is 23 pages of references in very tiny type. Fortunately, despite years spent researching Dodo, Quammen wasn't content to spend all his time reading dry academic papers and obscure texts. Instead he broke out his hiking boots and retraced the steps of some of these explorers. He describes his personal experiences colorfully with analogies, anecdotes and descriptions. If you've been to some of the places he describes, you feel like you ought to go back to see through opened eyes. If you haven't been there, you feel like you ought to go--with Quammen's book in your backpack. Here's his description of Komodo dragons being fed a goat carcass by rangers on Komodo Island in Indonesia.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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4.0 von 5 Sternen It's Very Long 10. Januar 2000
Part travelogue, part treatise on island biogeography, part portraits of a dozen prominent biologists, part diatribe against loss of wilderness, "The Song of the Dodo" is a massive undertaking. It seems to have been written as much to get it out of Quammen's system as for any imagined reader.
You marvel at the remote corners of the world Quammen visits, and the hardships of getting there. You marvel at the quiet determination with which the unsung field researchers toil away. You marvel at the slow realization among ecologists that "reserves" aren't sufficient to maintain biodiversity over several lifetimes. You bristle at the loss, irretrievably, of unspoiled places through either the bald encroachment of man or, more galling, the benign paternalism of "wildlife managers." In particular, Quammen reveals the devastating legacy of Christian missionaries who brought their lifestyles (and livestock) with them.
In short, "Dodo" is about four books all rolled into one, which makes it a heady undertaking for the reader OR author. Quammen does a pretty good job of organizing his data into a readable narrative, but it may have been more powerful as four separate books, I don't know. Frankly, the chatty endlessly-detailed "A la recherche du temps perdu "-style wore on me after a while, and I read a dozen other books while slogging through this one.
However, along with "The Beak of the Finch" by Jonathan Weiner, Quammen has performed a valuable service by summarizing current thought in the "new synthesis" of evolution. Reading both books gives the lay reader, such as myself, a new appreciation for the delicacy and complexity of life on earth.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A career changing book... 5. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
This is one of those books that, picked up on a whim, grabs you by the ears and swings you around to look at the world in a completely different way. I picked it up as an unsuspecting Classics graduate with a mild interest in nature stories and the history of science. I put it down as a newly fledged conservation biologist, having phoned the university to apply for a second Bachelor's degree program halfway through the book. (Actually I think my decision was made around the third chapter, with the description of the Madagascar tenrecs). Quammen's prose is so engaging and his passion for his subject so compelling that I could not help but be converted. That was three years ago; I have since re-read the book at least a dozen times, lent it to any and all of my friends who would stand still long enough to have it thrust at them, and bought a second copy to keep at home when the original is on loan, because I couldn't stand to have it unavailable. I've also bought at least three copies as gifts for friends who exclaimed over it as much as I did... Mr. Quammen, I thank you. However hackneyed the phrase, your book has indeed changed my life.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eine Klasse für sich
Das Erstwerk von David Quammen (inzwischen mehrfachst ausgezeichnet, regelmäßig auch im National Geographic zu finden) ist sozusagen "Pflichtlektüre"... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 6 Monaten von Chrotopterus veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen An important book about an important subject
Don't let the topic or size deter you. Quammen writes effortlessly and effectively how man, through habitat destruction, is causing, and it will only escalate, extintions at a rate... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juli 2000 von "rchamerda"
5.0 von 5 Sternen superb
"the song of the dodo" is a wonderful book for anyone interested in animals, biogeography and nature conservation. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 6. Juli 2000 von the Penguin
5.0 von 5 Sternen Marvellously written, an extremely important subject
David Quammen has the makings of an excellent scientist, but I'm glad that his profession is natural history writing. The Song of the Dodo is a fascinating book in many ways. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 22. Februar 2000 von Barbara E. Mattingly
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic- funny and painstakingly informative
As a reader of OUTSIDE MAGAZINE, I knew Mr. Quammen's writing style and knew he brings a humourous style to the table. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 14. Februar 2000 veröffentlicht
4.0 von 5 Sternen Complexe Biological Issues are made accessable
This book was great! I made some very complexe issues accessable and even interesting. It is a must for anyone who is concerned about speices extinction. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 15. Januar 2000 von Ryan Singer
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not gripping, yet interesting
Granted I rarely read non-fiction, I found this book rather boring and only struggled to read it because I am utterly interested in the subject matter. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 5. Dezember 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Even better than Wild Thoughts from Wild Places!
I was sceptical going into this book that Quammen wouldn't hold my attention long enough.. I thought "can there really be that much information about island biogeography that... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 14. Oktober 1999 von Amazon Customer
5.0 von 5 Sternen Months later I still think about Dodo
It has been 5 months since I finished reading Quammen's book and I mourn the dodo and the ending of this book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 30. Juli 1999 veröffentlicht
2.0 von 5 Sternen I guess it wasn't for me.
Usually I'm a nonfiction junkie, but I have to say that this book lost me. I read halfway through before finally giving up. I didn't find the writing style to be very engaging.
Am 7. Juli 1999 veröffentlicht
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