- Taschenbuch: 704 Seiten
- Verlag: Scribner; Auflage: Reprint (14. April 1997)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0684827123
- ISBN-13: 978-0684827124
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,5 x 3,3 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 22 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 95.501 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. April 1997
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"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.
This is a stunning book with graceful reverberations' Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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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.
"They snarf and chomp. They gorge. They thrash, they scuffle, they tug and twist. They stir up one helluva ruckus. Within a few seconds they have composed themselves at its axis; elbow to elbow, jaws locked on the meat, tails swinging, they resemble a monstrous nine-pointed starfish. Their round-snouted faces, which looked as gentle and dim as a basset hound's until just a moment ago, have gone smeary with blood. When the goat rips in half, they split into two mobs over the severed halves and the tussling continues. They have each seized a mouthful but the mouthfuls are still held together, barely, by bone and sinew. They wrestle. They lunge for new jaw-grips and clamp down, straining greedily against the tensile limits of the mangled goat.
Much of Dodo is a long tale of complex ecological concepts woven together so that those explored in the beginning are introduced again later. Quammen's observations, historical and personal, are part text, part story. Some are humorous; some are tragic. Plan to read the book at least twice. You may want to start a notebook.
Then, when you finish reading The Song of the Dodo, you might want to take your children to a zoo or natural history museum to show them endangered and threatened animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians insects and plants. You may want to explain that some of these species probably won't be around when their children's children--your grandchildren--are adults. Some species may become extinct in your lifetime. None will ever evolve to fill the void left by extinction. There will be no new rhinos, elephants, grizzlies, gorillas, tigers or anything else.
According to island biogeographers, what islands are good at, whether surrounded by water, farmland or urbanization, is extinction. Parks and preserves just aren't large enough. Nowhere is large enough. You are living among tomorrow's dodos. Some are within a few miles of you.
The Song of the Dodo belongs on every true environmentalist's bookshelf, alongside Aldo Leopold's "Sand County Almanac" and Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." It should be required reading in any college course that touches on the subject of environment. Quammen, who twice won the National Magazine Award for his writing in Outside magazine, deserves a far more prestigious award for this book.
(This book review first appeared as an article at [...] in the Environment section.)
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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